Analyst says Apple's iPhone 5 'will fly'
He's raising his company stock price target by 20% as the flagship device goes on sale amid long lines worldwide.
It's finally here. Apple's (AAPL) iPhone 5 officially went on sale Friday morning in nine countries, and analysts expect to see huge demand as the flagship product reaches consumers' hands.
Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore raised his price target for Apple on expectations that "the iPhone 5 will fly."
Whitmore believes demand will be extremely strong, based on a new form factor and on the phone's Long Term Evolution upgrade. He believes there are about 245 million active iPhones in use around the globe, of which 50 million are more than 2 years old and ready to be upgraded. In the U.S. alone, there are 17 million users available for upgrade, and Whitmore believes the upgrade cycle could be stretched further than people think.
"We believe demand for iPhone 5 is extremely robust and will prove more durable than the iPhone 4S cycle due to its substantial feature set upgrade (simultaneous form factor, speed and LTE upgrade). With a fast geographic ramp (9 countries on Sept 21; another 29 by end of month and 100 countries on 240 carriers by year end) we expect supply to be the gating factor to near-term unit shipments; not demand," Whitmore wrote.
Atlantic Equities analyst James Cordwell agrees there will be strong demand. "Given the materially longer queues we are incrementally confident that Apple will be able to at least meet the 6m figure we have assumed for iPhone 5 sales over the opening weekend and we see potential upside to our 28m Q4 (Sep) estimate," Cordwell wrote. He rates Apple shares overweight with a $760 price target.
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